There is such a thing as going to far inside, on focusing on your own needs too much. Inspiration, for many of us, comes when we have someone to create for:
“Who can I help today?”
“How I can I serve God today?”
“What’s our family doing today?”
The thing about the all the self help stuff our generation suffered through was this: it was focused on self. Trying to make yourself happy by only taking care of yourself is a dead end street. The self help gurus tell you that you are supposed to focus on your own feelings, “the mirror to your soul.” The trouble is; your feelings are largely a moving target, they can change with the wind or the extra pepperoni you had on your pizza. Our feelings, including “happiness” are better managed when they are attached to something greater.
Let’s call it Love.
When we look back at history, the most successful people, including artists, believed in something greater than themselves and had a motivation that helped them to power through changes in moods or other roadblocks. When we think of heroes, we think of selfless people, not people who made decisions in their own interest. We are fond of saying of heroes, “No greater love than this…” and we are talking about self sacrifice, not self help, we are talking about love.
Creation is an act of love, You can relate it to the supernatural, the spiritual or merely to necessity, but creation involves, hope, faith and, yes, love. The optimism inherent in building something new is a sign that you believe you have something to share, that this world can be a better place and that you want to participate. Why bother to create if you think things are hopeless? In creating something you are sharing not just your creation but yourself, you are opening your soul. That’s risky.
In my experience, you can’t live against your values. Not my values, not some preacher’s values, but your own values. And, deep inside every artist is this thing we call love and that is a value we can all draw on. Inspiration then, comes when we have someone to create for. It could be our lover, our family, our God, or our sponsor. Those who manage or sponsor creative people should remember this, it is easier to create if you are inspired and inspiration involves no small amount of hope. Creation is an act of sharing and a good way to get inspired is to imagine our “target audience,” the person for whom we are creating, enjoying and praising our work. Beginning with that vision is a great way to keep the inspiration coming, all the wau through your job.
I hope you make something cool today, we are all waiting to see it!